Should I get a male or female dog?

If you have decided to bring a canine companion into your household, you may be faced with many decisions: purebred or mixed, large or small, breed, temperament and routine grooming needs. “Should I get a male or female dog?” is another question that may come to mind. Here are a few points to keep in mind when considering this decision.

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Should I get a male or female dog?

Does male or female really make a difference?

Sometimes people project their own concept of maleness or femaleness on animals. They may exaggerate their idea of the masculinity or femininity of their dog’s behavior. The truth is, your canine companion may exhibit some behaviors associated with maleness or femaleness. Male dogs may be more active and aggressive. Female dogs may be gentler and more submissive. Hormones dictate much of this behavior, and the behavior can be altered by spaying or neutering. Generally, either male or female, a well-trained dog will be a wonderful addition to your family.

Reasons you may want to choose a female dog

A spayed female does not experience “heat” periods, during which they are receptive to mating. Females tend to be gentler and less active than male dogs. The spaying procedure eliminates the breeding behavior, so owners do not have to ensure their dog is kept inside and away from male dogs to avoid pregnancy. The female will continue to be gentler and less aggressive, making her the perfect pet for a family with children that wants a calm home environment.

Reasons you may want to choose a male dog

Male dogs tend to be more physically active. If you enjoy vigorously activities outdoors, a male would probably be more adaptable to your habits, although this can vary from breed to breed. A neutered male will not be inclined to escape the house to “roam” for breeding. A neutered male is also less likely to fight with other dogs, but this also can vary from breed to breed. Male dogs are just as affectionate as females and are full of personality, which makes them a great choice for your pet.

Spaying or neutering is needed for both genders

In the past, people either favored male dogs because they didn’t want to deal with having litters of puppies, or they favored a female dog to be able to have puppies to sell or give to others. Many people believed they didn’t have to neuter males, because they couldn’t get pregnant. But these males can still impregnate unsprayed female dogs, creating unwanted litters of pups.

Today, veterinarians recommend spaying all female dogs not kept for breeding and all male dogs not kept for stud purposes. In this way, unwanted litters do not burden communities that must deal with unwanted pets. In addition, spaying and neutering protects both male and female dogs against cancer of the reproductive tract, which can shorten their lifespan.

Your local animal shelter will provide spaying and neutering for pets offered at their facility. If you choose a purebred dog, have it spayed or neutered before they reach full maturity, to prevent unwanted litters, as well as troublesome behaviors associated with mating and reproduction. A number of low-cost spay-and-neuter clinics operate in cities across the United States.

In the end, it’s not going to matter whether you chose a male or female dog. When spayed or neutered, as recommended by veterinarians, either one will make a wonderful, devoted companion for you and your family. The most important point to consider is what type of dog is right for your living quarters and your lifestyle. When these decisions are made thoughtfully, you will find the dog you have chosen is a perfect fit.